How to Do Nothing
- Jenny Odell
- My last highlight
- Number of highlights
In a situation where every waking moment has become the time in which we make our living, and when we submit even our leisure for numerical evaluation via likes on Facebook and Instagram, constantly checking on its performance like one checks a stock, monitoring the ongoing development of our personal brand, time becomes an economic resource that we can no longer justify spending on “nothing.”
For many people, myself included, public transportation is the last non-transactional space in which we are regularly thrown together with a diverse set of strangers, all of whom have different destinations for different reasons.
I’ve always found the phrase “alone in nature” to be a humorous oxymoron, an utter impossibility.
At least until everyone is wearing augmented reality glasses 24/7, you cannot opt out of awareness of physical reality. The fact that commenting on the weather is a cliché of small talk is actually a profound reminder of this, since the weather is one of the only things we each know any other person must pay attention to.